This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC): Ohio State has, eventually, dispensed with every Big Ten challenger in their way. I’ve said it all year, but there really ought to be a Terry Bowden Trophy for teams on probation that go undefeated, because I think the Buckeyes would get it if it existed.
  • Tulsa @ Southern Methodist (FX): SMU had glimpses of a promising season several times this year, but it looks as though the dream will die against the Golden Hurricane.
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (ESPN): To Hell With Georgia.
  • Rutgers @ Pittsburgh (ESPN2): I agree with most of the snarky tweets from Friday that lament the loss of the Backyard Brawl. Rutgers should win, I guess?
  • Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): It’s almost unbelievable that VPI needs to win this game to go 6-6. And they should win, but UVA has been feisty a few times this year.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Central Florida (FSN): It’s funny that UCF is basically doing the opposite of what Miami did. Instead of trying appease the NCAA, it’s like George O’Leary just said “eff it” and go for a bowl game and conference title. Well, UAB almost certainly isn’t going to stop them.
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN): Illinois is a lot like Cal in several ways. One of the first ways that comes to mind for me is that in academic circles Illinois usually UIUC and Cal is usually just Berkeley. They also have in common that they’ve fallen behind an in-state, also notable private school rival.
  • Kentucky @ Tennessee (SEC): I’m not sure I would’ve guessed that Joker Philips would be the coach still on the sideline for this one, even if this is his last game. Either way, Tennessee should win, but that’s not something that’s gone well for them this year.
  • Miami @ Duke (ACC): Miami should win, but well, I’ve been wrong before.

2:30: Baylor vs. Texas Tech (@Arlington, TX; FOX): Baylor had an Earth-shattering upset of K-State last weekend, but nonetheless they need to beat either TTU or Oklahoma State to get to 6 wins. I like their chances for that with Texas Tech better than with Oklahoma State.

3:00:

  • Oregon @ Oregon State (Pac-12): This game will not be available for many of you, which is just a crime really. This game should be good viewing. I think Oregon will still win but the Civil War is always good viewing, regardless how the season is going for either.
  • Maryland @ North Carolina (ACC): Well, UNC should win. Given your other options I can’t really recommend that you watch this.

3:30:

  • Auburn @ Alabama (CBS): Well, unless, as I said in my bowl predictions, Gene Chizik is preparing to unleash the greatest practical joke in the history of the state of Alabama, this one is in the bag for the Tide.
  • Florida @ Florida State (ABC): Well, this won’t be appointment viewing probably, but it will be important. FSU needs this win badly to even be in consideration in the national title discussion. I actually like their chances, really. Florida basically stopped playing offense about two months ago, relying entirely in defense and special teams to general any semblance of offensive output. FSU, meanwhile, can actually move the ball and I think that will be the difference in this game.
  • Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (ESPN): Offense will not be the issue in this one. Instead, it’s OU with the advantage, in the sense they’re one of the few Big 12 teams that bothers to play any defense at all.
  • Wisconsin @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN2): I think Wisconsin can beat Penn State, which would at least give the Big Ten the ability to say teams on probation didn’t finish #1 and #2 in the Leaders. (Still had to look that up by the way.)
  • Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest (ESPNU): I just don’t see how Wake can beat this edition of the Commdores.
  • Tulane @ Houston (FSN): Having the 100th ranked scoring offense and 118th ranked scoring defense is not a recipe for success, which explains why the Green Wave are not having any.
  • Michigan State @ Minnesota (BTN): Well, there are some other traditional Big Ten games left, thankfully. Anyway, I like Sparty’s chances.

6:30: Stanford @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): Why watch this now when you can watch the same game from Palo Alto next weekend?

7:00:

  • Missouri @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (ESPN2): TAMU should win this one pretty easily, and it could well clinch a Heisman for Johnny Football.
  • Mississippi State @ Mississippi (ESPNU): It’s hard to see how Ole Miss will keep up with their rivals offensively. I think the Bulldogs can get this one.

7:15: South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN): I’ve been going back and forth on this one all week. Clemson, really, has been tested only once all year (against FSU) and they failed. South Carolina had a brutal October, and while they got the win over UGA, they then lost to LSU and Florida, thus playing themselves out of the SEC East race. So really, it’s hard to say. Clemson does have all their offensive weapons, which has generally led me to favor them over the at-times piecemeal Gamecock attack (especially minus Marcus Lattimore). That said, the Gamecocks still have an excellent defensive line, so I consider this one basically even. Still leaning slightly for the Tigers though.

8:00: Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC): After USC’s performance against UCLA last weekend, it’s hard to really see how they will be able to do anything against Notre Dame’s defense. I think this one will mostly come down to whether the Domers are able to handle the enormous presure and expectations. On the flip side, it may help them that USC will almost has to be reminded that back in August they were the ones supposed to be going into this game playing for a national title, not ND, thus reminding the Trojans how everything in this season has gone wrong.

10:30: Louisiana Tech @ San Jose State (ESPN2): Ah, a nice WACtion nightcap. Not many more of these! I like LaTech here.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Turkey Day, and may your team of choice win on this day. Unless you’re a Georgia fan.

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